From the streets to your space… signed limited edition prints.


BEAR FACED CHEEK FROM MAGDA ARCHER

In Magda Archer’s latest contribution to the flyingleaps artists’ poster project a beady eyed bear is being transgressive. No doubt s/he’s aware that the rise of graffiti is connected to two powerful urban trends: increasing social control and the changing political economy of the city.*

Paddling in the verdant grass and perky delphiniums the graffiti bear is making their mark. It’s personal, it’s political, it’s polyvalent. If, for example, the topic of corruption at the heart of a Tory government were to crop up for some reason then Same Shit Different Day (2021) more than nails it. Dennis Skinner’s ‘dodgy Dave’ slur was bang on the money.

In another reading of the work we might be minded that not everyone is skidding out the front door desperate to share infectious aerosols. Slowly, slowly not catchy COVID. But that’s NOT to say we ain’t sick to the back teeth of our shrunken, ‘doing the best we can’ worlds. The only thing a bit ferocious about our bear is their daubing that drips with a glossy frustration. Knots of so many things that, as we’re trying to be kind, we’ve NOT been able to do. It’s exhausting.

Same Shit Different Day (2021) Magda Archer
Same Shit Different Day (2021) Magda Archer

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If our pandemic circumstances are not very funny then Archer’s rendering of woodgrain really is. Fat stripes and a few seagulls (like, after a bit, the artist got a bit bored of fat stripes). Archer often inflects her painting style to suit her subjects. Same Shit Different Day is spot on. It’s a painting – and we know paint is involved ‘cos it says so on the can! – that parallels our profound ennui. It’s angry too. A furious, furry cri de coeur.

We keep going. Not to let the side down please note s/he got ribboned up to go out vandalising. And it’s a blue sky day, clouds are doing that scudding thing they do, our bear has probably been detained by the authorities and can expect a long stretch of confinement for their anti-social outburst. Plus ça change? Archer has helped us smile at our melancholy.

*Apologies, cannibalised this line off the wonderful Emma Arnold talking about the inspiring Jeff Ferrell.

On the Street

BORTUSK LEER’S MONSTERS ARE OUT THERE

When it comes to bogeymaning their way into art history MONSTERS have form. Hieronymous Bosch’s hybrids are creepy critters. Goya’s ‘Saturn Devouring His Son’ isn’t nice (first painted on the side of his house btw!). There’s also ‘The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters’, by which he meant… It’s complicated. Proselytising for enlightenment values could invite interest from the Spanish Inquisition in those days. Henry Fuseli’s squatting horror of an incubus must be what it’s like to wake up with Nigel Farage sitting on your chest. And Francis Bacon’s Furies, those three grey haggis with necks and teeth are surely the last thing you went loitering at the base of your crucifixion.

Debuffet’s outsider art, art brut – taking inspiration from street scribblers, the insane, eccentrics, as well as the art of children – also springs to mind when considering the work of our latest flyingleaps collaborator. It’s a privilege to welcome the irrepressible Bortusk Leer into the fold. The artist had already taken steps to populate the street with paste up rave pigeons when his mum dug out some childhood drawings and the monster motif was born. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Like some visual equivalent of Bach’s musical variations, Leer’s monster theme is a fount of invention.

Bortusk Leer Street Monsters
Bortusk Leer Street Monsters

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‘Is this the sign you’ve been looking for?’, ‘Keep fuckin smiling’ and ‘Love every day’ is a boggle eyed, buck-toothed, dribbling gum bleed of a triptych. Leer creates monsters in various media but the trio of new flyingleaps posters echo his own forays into the street where he pastes up sheets of newsprint of single monsters holding up signs.

The messages literally signalled range from the profane to free advice on well-being. Beyond that the colours, inventive compositions, the graphic energy and gurning expressions convey an anarchic joie de vivre that’s contagious. Leer’s public workshops are hugely popular with kids and adults alike. Sometimes only minutes in the making, watching the artist devise a new monster it seems that their appearance is as much a surprise to him as anyone else. Their creation is a mischievous performance of discovery and fun.

Displayed in the street Leer’s monsters assume the role of urban jesters, mocking the attention seeking consumer spectacle. Spray painted and marker penned on top of the daily news, obliterating pages of The Sun or Telegraph, etc., they also imply a mocking attitude toward the constant stream of distraction offered up by the mainstream media. But most of all they bring a smile to people’s faces. And that is a generous gift, especially during a global pandemic. As it says on the artist’s Insta. bio. ‘Art’s not serious, being dead is.’

On the Street

All that we've got(2021) Angry Dan poster
All that we’ve got(2021) Angry Dan

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Rainbows? Monsters? Comic Artrage? Sharp, virulent visual and text based socio-political poster interventions on the streets? All of the above, of course. Kicking off with Rainbows…

Our latest flyingleaps collaboration is with the artist and poet Angry Dan who’s earning quite a reputation for himself across London and further afield.

His eye-catching prints and murals that pair delighting, vivid and witty imagery together with wise-cracking limericks are a fillip for the eyes and smile inducing balm for sore spirits. Oh, and sometimes a heart-breaking call to action when you take a moment to stop and think for a while.

‘All That We’ve Got’ (2021) might at first sight seem like a lightweight paean to drippy optimism. It’s not. Sure it’s bright, looks gorgeous and you can’t really miss noticing it but the full quote takes us to an ever more pressing ethical and existential dilemma.

We are fucking over planet earth at an exponential rate. And, as astronomer Carl Sagan noted, now and for the foreseeable future it’s the only home we’ve got. This lonely speck, a pale blue dot in the great enveloping cosmic darkness, needs not just our remedial attention. It needs a complete overhaul. The earth can’t breathe.

Bortusk Leer Street Monsters
Bortusk Leer Street Monsters

‘Is this the sign you’ve been looking for?’, ‘Keep fuckin smiling’ and ‘Love every day’ is a boggle eyed, buck-toothed, dribbling gum bleed of a triptych. Leer creates monsters in various media but the trio of new flyingleaps posters echo his own forays into the street where he pastes up sheets of newsprint of single monsters holding up signs.

The messages literally signalled range from the profane to free advice on well-being. Beyond that the colours, inventive compositions, the graphic energy and gurning expressions convey an anarchic joie de vivre that’s contagious. Leer’s public workshops are hugely popular with kids and adults alike. Sometimes only minutes in the making, watching the artist devise a new monster it seems that their appearance is as much a surprise to him as anyone else. Their creation is a mischievous performance of discovery and fun.

Displayed in the street Leer’s monsters assume the role of urban jesters, mocking the attention seeking consumer spectacle. Spray painted and marker penned on top of the daily news, obliterating pages of The Sun or Telegraph, etc., they also imply a mocking attitude toward the constant stream of distraction offered up by the mainstream media. But most of all they bring a smile to people’s faces. And that is a generous gift, especially during a global pandemic. As it says on the artist’s Insta. bio. ‘Art’s not serious, being dead is.’

ADD TO CART

All that we've got(2021) Angry Dan poster
All that we've got(2021) Angry Dan

Rainbows? Monsters? Comic Artrage? Sharp, virulent visual and text based socio-political poster interventions on the streets? All of the above, of course. Kicking off with Rainbows…

Our latest flyingleaps collaboration is with the artist and poet Angry Dan who’s earning quite a reputation for himself across London and further afield.

His eye-catching prints and murals that pair delighting, vivid and witty imagery together with wise-cracking limericks are a fillip for the eyes and smile inducing balm for sore spirits. Oh, and sometimes a heart-breaking call to action when you take a moment to stop and think for a while.

‘All That We’ve Got’ (2021) might at first sight seem like a lightweight paean to drippy optimism. It’s not. Sure it’s bright, looks gorgeous and you can’t really miss noticing it but the full quote takes us to an ever more pressing ethical and existential dilemma.

We are fucking over planet earth at an exponential rate. And, as astronomer Carl Sagan noted, now and for the foreseeable future it’s the only home we’ve got. This lonely speck, a pale blue dot in the great enveloping cosmic darkness, needs not just our remedial attention. It needs a complete overhaul. The earth can’t breathe.

ADD TO CART

Oh 'Ello Poster, Magda Archer
Oh 'Ello (2020), Magda Archer

As if enduring a third lockdown wasn’t grim enough, January 2021 witnessed the frenzied final throes of the UK Govt. painfully, destructively unloading their hard Brexit from the EU. It didn’t have to be this way. Right leaning Tory hubris and greed, cloaked in ‘global Britain’, ‘levelling up’ and other spurious lies have ushered in a new era of economic and social unease and bewilderment. That’s on top of COVID.

Years of deception by the mainstream media and cynical, self-serving bluster dished up by a privileged few played on genuine fears and grievances. The EU was, is very far from perfect. But Boris Johnson and his cronies peddling false hopes as to the benefits of ‘going it alone’ symbolically, and in practical terms, flies in the face of the cooperation, mutual support and the progressive policies and investment in people we need to achieve fairer societies.

Simon Roberts’ ‘Stonehenge’ (2020) was the 51st flyingleaps poster since the day of the UK/EU ref. back in 2016. His ‘Welcome to Little Britain’ image mimicking official tourist industry propaganda seems to chime with the end of a chapter in our history: ‘Visit the wonders of Stonehenge and experience a post-Brexit Britain, cut off from Europe and enamoured of its own insularity.’ So, what’s to be done? What’s the way forward?

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More Lies (2020) by Magda ArcherMore Lies (2020) Magda Archer

Street poster spotters will already be aware of Magda Archer’s refulgent, biting and thoughtfully impatient paintings. Her More Lies(2020) captures perfectly the horror at realising you’ve fallen for it again. Been hoodwinked by those you’d maybe expect to be able to trust. Again.

There’s a spiky brawl of colour going on in and around the mouse-like critter. Scratchy black mark-making battles with the pinks and blue, the greens and greys in such a way as to corroborate the creature’s aghast and infuriated facial expression.

You were expecting to be served something dependable, wholesome, beneficial. But what came along with the carrots? Nothing you asked for. Cummings, more like. More lies, more like.

Throughout COVID-19 lockdown you’ve been a good mouse, doing your bit, feeling afraid, uneasy but eating up your ‘greens’ as requested. Only to realise that what’s been served up on a plate by Johnson and Co. is worse than unpalatable. It’s criminal.ADD TO CART

Spaffed (2020) kennardphillipps

Spaffed (2020), the latest flyingleaps poster by political art duo kennardphillipps, features the current No. 10 Evil-Clown-in-Residence Boris Johnson.

The original print and hand-crafted portrait on American and British Stocks pages of the Financial Times drew a comment along the lines of ‘They’ve blacked him up, that’s racist!’ Erm, no. They haven’t. And it isn’t. Though Johnson’s noxious, inflammatory language is.

In Spaffed we see the PM wearing what’s known as the ‘Auguste’ clown face. In traditional clown hierarchy this posits him as a simpleton, somewhere between the ‘Boss’ and the ‘Tramp’ clowns: twixt SPAD Cummings and the new Chancellor then?

The title of the work refers, of course, to Johnson’s use of the word in his criticism of money spent on historic child abuse investigations. The collapse of a case involving high profile politicians notwithstanding, for survivors of abuse the past is never buried. And, again, for the current PM to have used such a crass, inappropriate word in this context betrays a savage disregard on his part. It also talks about the depth to which political discourse has sunk under his berserker buffoon influence. Who was the intended ‘audience’ for this remark? Who was it supposed to chime with?

Spaffed completes a trilogy of kennardphillipps’ Brexit PMs. The flyingleaps project kicked off with their Study for a Head 7 (2016). At one reading this was David Cameron rendered again in stark black and white on the FT’s salmon-pink pages but with a raw, critical strip torn off. Profit (2017) came next with PM Theresa May’s face minus her eyes. A creepy, myopically harping visage who, it turned out, really didn’t have a clue. Now that Spaffed has joined the throng a trio of cocky incompetence is complete.
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MADe in America (2019) Ben Turnbull
MADe in America (2019) Ben Turnbull

Ben Turnbull’s MADe In America (2019)

This is the latest superb, arresting and timely addition to the flyingleaps collection. His signature approach to collage being particularly suited to street display: they catch our attention from afar and up close amply reward sustained viewing.

So Turnbull’s work engages in a number of ways. First the bold and eye-catching portraiture wrought from rich swirling slicks and slabs of colour and tone. On closer inspection of MADe In America we see form dissolve into a wriggling mass of flesh, ears and eyes that make up this 45th ‘Kebab-Face in Chief’. Jokers and clowns colonise his shirt collar. Dark deeds appear in the cut of his suit and, of course, there’s a screaming skull in his tie knot… All created from the artist’s painstakingly researched and cleverly employed source material, namely comics.

But this isn’t straightforward collage, the medium contributes to and propels the message. A recent show American History X Volume III - Manifest Decimation saw Turnbull produce a bold critique of the historical and contemporary mistreatment of Native American Indians, these were gripping images but the fact that they were collaged from Western – Cowboy & Indian – Comics introduces further degrees of critical wit and complexity.

Likewise for Turnbull’s flyingleaps outing. A portrait of Trump flicking the finger perfectly captures the president’s petulant contempt, his ugly, windy arrogance. Then realising the work deploys clippings from the pages of the classic US satirical Mad Magazine adds a droll, pithy rebuttal of pretty much everything the current POTUS likes to think he stands for. He’s a joke but a darkly calamitous and extremely dangerous one.

Look out for Turnbull’s MADe In America on the streets of London, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Glasgow. And don’t miss out on this latest opportunity to continue to collect some of the best of contemporary art around.

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All posters are 30×20 inches.

All Posters are 30x20inches

Contact: info@flyingleaps.co.uk

All posters printed in 2021 are limited editions of 100 – prior to that they are editions of 300. All are 30×20 inch.

(apart from More That Unites Us (2017) and Agitate In Memoriam (2018) which were limited to a run of 100)

Dr.D aka Subvertiser

While the debate goes on as to whether flyposted and other oppositional art or visual activism has any direct effect in bringing about sociopolitical change, what it can do at its best is feed into the publics’ disposition.

Through strong imagery, cogent or quizzical text, humour, relatively speedy production and distribution, via its capacity to occupy anomalous spaces in the urban environment and through an imaginative, enacted engagement with matters of concern it can generate social media interest and help inform, even propel, opinion.

Dr. D’s targets include surveillance culture; the social effects of neoliberalism; commodification; mealy-mouthed and uncaring politicians;  abuses of power in the media… Much more than bald sloganeering Dr. D’s imagery and text pieces often emerge, on reflection, as enigmatic meditations on twenty-first century existential angst.

Transgressing boundaries can reveal hidden rules. One could cite the precedents of the carnivalesque ‘telling truth to power’, vaudevillian comedy, Dada gestures in art but all of these, in a – it’s only a bunch of pucks/entertainers/artists – sense, operated in ‘sanctioned’ arenas. Dr. D’s contributions to the urban environment are rarely sanctioned and it’s this that contributes significantly to their traction and incisiveness.

The urban spectacle would have us believe that its over-riding character is, yes aspirational, but emphatically neutral and apolitical: that generally we’re going to be just fine if we carry on pretty much as we are. Dr. D’s pithy interventions, highlighting so many germane issues and employing such a variety of modes of address, repeatedly suggest otherwise.

Curfew, Dr D, in Oslo
I Remember the Future in Oslo